Sunday, March 22, 2009

A desert camping trip

In what has become an annual tradition, we enjoyed a long weekend at Joshua Tree National Park for the third consecutive year. Last year was Konrad's first camping trip, and the year before was Natalie's first camping trip...this year, everyone was experienced, although Konrad was a little bit scared of the wind flapping the tent around at first. He got used to it by the end of the first day.

Last year I also described the way we do camping with small kids...this year I have a few ideas to add, based on what worked this year with kids that are a little older. I'll try to pull that together for Wednesday.

But this post is about pictures and the fun we had...I'll bore you with the "how to" in another post. Let me just set the tone with a picture I'm very proud of: all three of our children wearing hats, at the same time! Konrad loves wearing his hat (even though I didn't put a hat on him much until I discovered this hand-me-down hat a couple weeks ago), and Natalie has decided that if Konrad likes a hat, she should wear one too. And doesn't she look cute! And I remembered sunscreen this year!

Since Konrad had outgrown the Baby Bjorn pack, we found another kid backpack on Craig's List. It really gave us a lot of freedom to go almost anywhere Lukas wanted to go, with Natalie and Konrad on our backs...it kept them confined, AND they loved the view.

The first day, we did some rock scrambling after we set up camp. The second day, we did a hike in the morning, then another one right after lunch so the kids could nap in the car on the way back to the campsite.

I was getting dinner ready when I saw Konrad and Natalie feeding each other raisins. Natalie was very generous, giving Konrad raisins faster than he could chew and swallow them...he just kept storing them in his mouth until it was VERY full! I asked Tom to get a camera, but by that time, Konrad's mouth was full, so it was all he could do to concentrate on accepting Natalie's feeding, and he couldn't ALSO handle feeding her. But at one point, they looked like newlyweds, feeding each other cake at the same time...you'll have to picture it in your mind.

We arrived around 1 p.m. on Friday, and we felt blessed to find a campsite, even at that early time (Cottonwood Springs campsite doesn't accept reservations). So obviously we didn't get a great campsite...notice the cholla bush right in front of the kids' brown play tent. Cholla is a kind of cactus that has a lot more needles than your average cactus, and they look so fuzzy and inviting. Tom and I discussed what to do about it...what could we put over it so the kids wouldn't get poked? In the end, we forgot about it, and none of the kids walked into it, so it was fine.

In the past, we've arrived even later and found plenty of campsites on a Friday. I don't know what the difference was this weekend, and there were a ton of families with kids there, too. Is it Spring Break somewhere? Anyway, it made it a little difficult for us at night when we put the kids to bed, and then heard crying...is that our kids? There were at least six different families with small children in every direction from us. Thankfully they were far enough away that their noise didn't awaken our kids, but they were just close enough that we always had to stop talking and listen and decide where the cry was coming from...is that our kids?

In addition to having photographic proof that all our kids had their hats on, at the same time, I am also proud of Natalie. She will go to physical therapy in the morning, and I will be able to display to her PT, Caryn, Natalie's beautiful nose. Why? There are no scrapes on her nose! Natalie fell soooo many times this weekend, with all the uneven surfaces, and tripping on everything, but each time, she caught herself with her hands. Way to go Natalie!

6 comments:

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Fun! I am using all your tips next time we camp, my favorite are you cooking and storing food ones...keep em coming!

Imse said...

Oh, that looks wonderfull!!!! It`s so fun to see the pictures!

What kind of babywearing backpack was it you had bougth? It looks like an beco, patapum or something like that. They are SO much better than the normal one..
I mostly use a wrap or a meitai, and I have no problems with carrying my 6 year old son in it;)

Love from Cecilie

Kelly said...

You do such neat things with your kids! I love all of the pictures.

Kelly W.

The Peacock's said...

How fun, you do a lot of fun things with your kids. They sure do look cute in their hats! I'm glad you had a fun time.

Cindy said...

Cecilie, We have two Kelty Kids backpacks. They are great!

Myssie said...

It looks like you all had a great time! I love the picture of Natalie feeding Konrad! So cute!!